Readers: The entries in this blog are built around the assumption there will be a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution. More about the Revenge Revolution, a list of earlier revolutions and the author, Entry #1

Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether a revolution in the US is possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US.  Entry #400 was the most recent “sense check.” 

ENTRY #411 BEGINS: The title is the response from the writer Dorothy Parker when asked to use the word “horticulture” in a sentence.  Parker‘s famous reply seems to appropriate to describe most elected Republicans inside the Washington Beltway.

I promised in Entry #410 to quit addressing how the Republican Party was imploding.  I also promised to quit offering suggestions how Democrats could help Republicans rebuild, or start a new, more principled Republican Party.

Those promises certainly have not stopped inane actions by members of the Republican Party.  This past week we experienced another reason why behavior of elected Republicans is consistent with Parker‘s description of a whore. Republicans have quit thinking.  Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell promised yet again to fight every aspect of the Biden administration‘s infrastructure proposal, even though the proposal has strong support among Republican voters.

McConnell must have said to himself, “Why should we rich Republicans listen to our constituents?  Our constituents are little people who really don’t matter.  They should be treated like we treat Democrats.  Let them eat old, stale fruitcake.”

Let’s discuss what infrastructure is and why infrastructure is important. First the definition of infrastructure has always included more than roads and bridges, despite the claims by Republicans. Some examples.  In the mid-19th Century, the US government was involved in making it possible for railroads to expand in all regions and traverse the country.  Along with railroads came support for that new-fangled communication medium called the telegraph.

Early in the 20th Century, the federal government was involved in building roads and bridges for autos as well as helping build the infrastructure to support another new communications medium called the telephone and another communications medium called radio. Yes, and the government was instrumental in developing places for those things that fly, called airplanes.

Mid-20th Century the Federal government funded the development of the interstate highway system and managed yet another communications medium, television. By the end of the 20th Century, the government was helping promote a communications medium it had funded directly, the Internet.

In addition to all the hardware, the government help fund software. Back to the 19th Century, early 20th century. What software infrastructure did the government fund? Free primary and secondary education for everyone, regardless of income. The government also funded higher education, providing land grants to help start many colleges and universities.

So the idea that infrastructure includes only roads and bridges and a few airports, and that infrastructure does not include education or communications it’s not only hogwash but inconsistent with two centuries of actions by the Federal government.  I guess McConnell and gang hope that no one remembers one iota of US history.

Another resistance point to infrastructure by Republicans is supposed cost.  Is the Biden administration infrastructure proposal expensive? Yes, but all major infrastructure programs supported by the Federal government have been expensive.  Have these infrastructure programs resulted in some tax increases?  Yes.  (We’ll save for another entry any discussion about the hypocrisy of the Republicans’ support for tax cuts and a higher deficit but then claim how Biden’s proposal will increase taxes and add to the deficit.) 

What seems baffling to me, and many others, is why in the past decade or so, Republicans have refused to support expansion and/or even repair of critical infrastructure?  Infrastructure is a necessary component of national security and economic expansion, both of which Republicans claim to be basic tenets of their Party.  Yet, during the four years of the Trump administration and during the eight years of the Obama administration, Republicans offered no support for addressing infrastructure issues.

Maintaining infrastructure in many ways is like maintaining a house or car. The longer one waits to repair an issue, the higher the cost.

With their repeated refusal to support the Biden administration’s widely popular infrastructure proposal, combined with their continued support for state legislators suppressing voter rights, Republicans have made it nearly impossible to govern the country for the people. The behavior of Republican leadership, and apparently virtually all Republicans in Congress, focuses on placating the hard-core right.  Focusing on this narrow segment of the population and refusing the consider ideas that benefit the majority, including most Republican voters, increases the likelihood of a more severe 5th revolution in the US, aka the Revenge Revolution.

Unless you’ve been in a cave the last few years, the Revenge Revolution appears to have started, in retrospect a bit earlier than I expected. The election of Trump could be considered the first major event of the Revenge Revolution.  Another major event was the storming of the US Capitol.

The third major event will be more intense and more violent than storming the Capitol. When and where that event occurs is TBD, but it is coming.

Back to the title of this entry. “You can lead a whore to culture, but you can’t make her think.”  Let’s change Parker’s quote slightly to read, “You can lead Republicans to culture but you can’t make them think.”  Stay tuned.

Booklets you might find interesting: